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All About Bullfrogs

Jul 14, 2014

A deep, bellowing “jug-of-rum” call resounds through the hot night air from a nearby pond. And, you understand how the bullfrog got its name.

The call of a bullfrog sounds sort of like the bellow of an angry bull. That, and the frog’s enormous size, are the reasons behind the name. The bullfrog is the largest frog in the United States. Their green to brown bodies range from three and one-half to six inches. Bullfrogs are found in swamps and marshes, rivers and creeks, ponds and reservoirs, or any place there’s water year ‘round.

Because of their big size, big mouth and big appetite, bullfrogs can eat a variety of animals–insects, crayfish, frogs, mice and other small mammals, birds, turtles, young snakes and anything else they can catch and swallow. They are also one of their own worst enemies–large bullfrogs eat small bullfrogs.

Thanks to an abundance of ponds, lakes and streams, bullfrogs are in good supply. And, about now, bullfrog tadpoles have hatched for the summer and are busy feeding on algae and tiny plants. In a year or more the tadpoles will grow legs and live on land as froglets. It will be another two years before the small froglets become adults.

For more information on frogs in Missouri, visit MDC’s Field Guide on the American Bullfrog.

Many Missourians enjoy hunting frogs. There are seasons and regulations you must follow, such as carrying the proper permit. Learn more:

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